The Biggest Danger in the Word of Faith Movement

This post probably won’t please most people – for different reasons. But my aim is to please the Lord. 

There are a lot of truths in the Word of Faith movement. The importance of meditating on the Word of God is taught in it. This is an important truth. That faith comes by hearing the Word is taught. That Jesus is Lord is taught, and that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead is also taught. They teach Mark 11:23,24, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2 and these are all important for believers today.

In my view, there are many Word of Faith people that are genuine servants of God. Right here I lost some people, because some conservative Christian people are so AGAINST Word of Faith doctrine that they throw out some things they could really benefit from. Kenneth Hagin I believe was really from the Lord – although I do think he made some mistakes (it seems for example he plagiarised some of the work of E.W. Kenyon without acknowledging this). However, I have probably made a lot more mistakes myself and I didn’t have the kind of important assignment Hagin had. You can get a lot of good teachings from Kenneth Hagin and in the end the Lord is the judge of all of us. 

But I would say that some of Hagin’s followers, and some of the followers of  Hagin’s followers are in grave danger. I will say why I believe this is – and you can of course judge what I say. Ask the Lord about it. And look at the Word of God.

It isn’t so much what they SAY as what they don’t say. They don’t talk about practical holiness much. (I was at a conference of World Ministry Fellowship back in 1997) and Happy Caldwell was the speaker. He basically pointed this fact out in that conference. So even some within their own movement acknowledge this.

So, there is this idea that all you have to do to be “in Christ” is to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and say with your mouth (or keep saying from time to time) “Jesus is Lord”. This is based on Romans 10:9. After that, you are told you are “in Christ” and pretty much all your problems are basically due to ignorance of your identity in Christ and your ignorance of the Word. Some are a bit wiser than that and talk about the need for patience. Some will teach that we should fear the Lord and turn from sin (to improve your life), but the basic idea you are left with is that even if you are pretty casual about sin, even if you are pretty carnal, you can still be “in Christ” and the blessings of God should come to you if you can just renew your mind enough to what God promises.

If we look at the whole counsel of God we will see that it is actual VITAL to turn to Christ from sin on a daily basis. It is VITAL to forgive the ones who wrong us. It is VITAL to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to have oil in our lamps. But these things are not always taught or emphasised in the Word of Faith circles. You are more likely to hear how you must “lean on the righteousness of Christ” – meaning that you believe you are righteous regardless of how you live because righteousness is a gift and works of obedience have no bearing on it – and that if you trust in Christ’s righteousness like this you can get all the blessings and reign in life (Romans 5:17).

Then you get this focus on money. Hagin Sr warned about this in his book “The Midas Touch”. The principles of God concerning giving and prosperity can be emphasised to the practical exclusion of teaching on holy living. There can almost be this subtle mockery of the idea that we should strive to enter the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13,14), and related concepts like self-denial and embracing suffering that comes in the path of doing the will of God. The emphasis comes on getting rich. Of course it is good for preachers wanting to be rich to have rich members if they are collecting 10% of their incomes on a weekly  basis. The problem here is that 1 Timothy 6 says that wanting to be rich is a very bad thing that can cause people to get hurt and even plunge into perdition. We are told to “flee these things”.

So what can happen in some but not all cases is that everyone is directed primarily to the parts of the Word of God which talk about financial principles for prosperity – chiefly giving – and little or no emphasis is given to departing from iniquity. At the same time, some of the same preachers deny that Christians can have demons – so naturally they never cast them out of the people in the church. The tendency is to claim that all of the promises in the New Testament that speak in the past tense have already been fulfilled in the lives of everyone who confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord. This leads to serious problems in my view. It is not a balanced or correct understanding of the Word of God. Just telling people that they are healed doesn’t mean there is no one sick in the church. Just telling people they are delivered from the Kingdom of Darkness or perfect in Christ doesn’t mean they don’t need to quit sinning or get out of some form of spiritual bondage.

I hope we want reality. Reality is truth. If you want reality in Christ, you need to depart from iniquity and pursue holiness (which includes living by and growing in faith), without which no one will see the Lord.

A lot more could be written about this. No matter who you are, dear reader, I wish you every blessing in Christ and I pray that you will prosper and be in health, EVEN AS YOUR SOUL PROSPERS. But your soul won’t prosper if you give yourself to iniquity or remain in ignorance concerning God’s will for your life – which is sanctification and holiness.








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